CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Long after he retired from the Charlestown Fire District, David Lamb always gave back to the community he’d served for years.
So when his home was gutted by flames Sunday afternoon, members of the community knew they needed to band together to help him get back on his feet.
“He lost everything,” David’s niece, Kerri Lamb, said. “He has the clothes on his back and his dog and that’s it.”
Lamb, who has lived in Charlestown for more than 20 years, is known for his elaborate Christmas light displays. He began the annual tradition with his late wife Patti back in 1991.
Thankfully, Lamb wasn’t home when the fire broke out. Kerri is now rallying support for her uncle, who previously served as the town’s assistant fire chief.
“He’s always given back to the community, whether on the fire station or with the lights, so I want to be able to give back to him that he’s given to everyone else,” she said.
Kerri created a GoFundMe page for her uncle and said all of the proceeds will go directly toward rebuilding his life. So far, more than 100 people have donated and shared memories of his Christmas display.
“Grew up on Alton Carolina and still go back ‘home’ to see the lights,” one donor said. “Having been through a total-loss house fire, this breaks my heart.”
“Thank you for the joy you share every holiday season,” another donor said.
Family friend Samatha McCullough has also stepped in to help and organized a pasta dinner to raise money for David, which will be held on March 7 at Exeter Fire Station 1 on Ten Rod Road. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, seniors, and first responders.